The Research Activities of the European Commission – Research and Innovation – The Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, informally DG Research and Innovation, is a Directorate-General of the European Commission, located in Brussels, and responsible for, notably, the European Union′s research policy and coordination of research activities.It is headed by Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn and Director-General Robert-Jan Smits.
The Directorate General’s mission is evolving as work on the European Research Area continues. It can be summarised as follows:
- to develop the European Union’s policy in the field of research and technological development and thereby contribute to the international cooperation of European industry;
- to coordinate European research activities with those carried out at the level of the Member States;
- to support the Union’s policies in other fields such as environment, health, energy, regional development, etc;
- to promote a better understanding of the role of science in modern societies and stimulate a public debate about research-related issues at European level.
One of the instruments used for the implementation of this policy is the multi-annual Framework Programmes for Research and Technological Development (FP RTD) which helps to organise and financially support cooperation between high schools, research centres, and industries – including small and medium sized enterprises (SME).